1 1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
6 egg yolks
1 tblsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
Shamrock-shaped cookie cutter
Green crystals, for decoration
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a large bowl, beat 1 1/2 c. butter until smooth.
3. Add 1 1/2 c. confectioners' sugar to the butter; blend together.
4. Beat in the 6 egg yolks, vanilla extract and the salt.
5. Stir in the flour.
6. Wrap the cookie dough with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
7. Roll out the cookie dough to about 1/2-inch thickness.
8. Use the shamrock cookie cutter to cut out shamrock shapes.
9. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place the shamrock cut outs on it.
10. Place the shamrocks in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until slightly golden.
11. Remove the shamrock cookies from the oven and cool completely.
12. Ice the cookies with a thin layer of white icing. Optional: Add a few drops of green food coloring to the white icing; mix well.
13. Sprinkle the shamrock cookies with the green crystals.
Meringue-Topped Strawberries & Rhubarb
1 lb. fresh or frozen (not thawed) rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger, (optional)
2 c. (1 pint) fresh or frozen (not thawed) strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered, if larger
3 large egg whites, at room temperature, or equivalent dried egg whites (see Ingredient Note)
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/3 c. sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Stir rhubarb, sugar and ginger (if using) in a medium bowl. Divide the mixture evenly among six 8-ounce ramekins. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and cover tightly with foil. Bake until the rhubarb is softened, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the foil.
3. Carefully tuck strawberries between the chunks of rhubarb. (Do not stir or the rhubarb will break apart).
4. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and continue mixing until the egg whites are glossy and hold peaks. Spoon beaten egg whites over each portion of fruit. Use a thin spatula to spread the meringue into decorative peaks.
5. Return the ramekins to the oven and bake until the meringue is lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
2 c. chopped fresh or frozen (not thawed) strawberries, (about 10 ounces), divided
1/2 c. sugar
2 1/2 c. nonfat or low-fat buttermilk
1/2 c. half-and-half
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1. Combine one cup berries and sugar in a small bowl and let sit, stirring occasionally until the sugar has begun to dissolve, about 10 minutes. Transfer the berry mixture to a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
2. Meanwhile, combine buttermilk, half-and-half, lemon juice, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl. Press the strawberry mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into the bowl. Stir, cover and chill for at least two hours or up to one day.
3. Whisk the sherbet mixture and pour into the canister of an ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer's directions. During the last five minutes of freezing, add the remaining one cup chopped berries. If necessary, place the sherbet in the freezer to firm up before serving. (If the sherbet becomes very hard in the freezer, soften in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before scooping).
Classic Carrot Cake
1 can (8 ounces) unsweetened crushed pineapple
2 c. shredded carrots
1 c. sugar
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. canola oil
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. chopped walnuts
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
1. Drain pineapple, reserving 2 tblsp. juice (discard remaining juice or save for another use). In a large bowl, beat the carrots, eggs, sugars, oil, pineapple and reserved juice until well blended. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; gradually beat into pineapple mixture until blended. Stir in walnuts.
2. Transfer to a greased 13-in.x9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
3. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread over cake.